dossier

body imagination architecture

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1997.07.19
architecture of extremities
Up till now I have not been able to adequately place the architecture of ancient Egypt within the Body, Imagination, and Architecture, but last night its meaning/interpretation came to me. Because it chronosomatically coincides with the legs, Egyptian architecture is within the region of corporeal extremity, and thus Egyptian architecture is an architecture of extremes.
The extremes of Egyptian architecture are somewhat obvious, and the great Pyramid is the best extreme example. The Great Pyramid is of extreme size, extreme abstraction of geometry, extreme polish, and extreme program--architecture of death. It could even be said that ancient Egyptian architecture goes in the extreme opposite direction from the rest of world architecture, primarily in terms of life vs. death, and light vs. darkness.
The temples of ancient Egypt also exemplify an extreme in that the inner-most sanctuary is of total darkness. Moreover, the architecture throughout is an extreme use of stone. (This last comment reminds me of Stonehenge in its extreme use of stone also, and its alignment with the summer solstice, an extreme solar condition, the longest day.)
An interesting reverse extreme in ancient Egyptian is the temple architecture of Akhenaten where there was no roof at all, only extreme sunlight. Akhenaten is also extreme himself within Egyptian history as being the "heretic" Pharaoh because he transformed Egyptian religion from extreme polytheism to and absolute monotheism.


1997.07.19
other extremes in architecture
...St.Peter’s Basilica in Rome and its extreme size, the extreme heights of todays skyscrapers, the extremes of Piranesi’s Campo Marzio, and the latest architecture of Frank Gehry.
...the metabolic nature of capitalism.
Piranesi’s metabolic extremism in the Prisons, the simultaneous creation and destruction of space. The extremes in the Campo Marzio--life and death, the small intercourse building versus the great halls of the Bustum Hadriani.
The kidneys perform the last metabolic process with regard to the blood, and they are an organ of excretion--a purge and a finality. The kidneys may be extreme due to their being the sole dual metabolic organ.
Why is Frank Gehry extreme? Does the extreme-ness come from his being a first? A
The extremities of the developing fetus may play a role in all this, and, if that is the case, then examples of extreme architecture that relate to the fetal extremities represent the foundation of a "new order" of architecture come the "second birth".


1997.07.30
BIA outline
the body
  1. the feminine vs. the masculine
      hard vs. soft
      the city as female (exhibit 1) and Mumford
      position of the womb in the gauge
  2. mind vs matter issue
      The Timepiece of Humanity against this
      Alberti
  3. a bibliography
  4. Alberti quotations
      include comments
  5. Rykwert’s “Body and the World”
  6. Modular Man
  7. “Body Trouble”
      contemporary trouble
  8. “Architecture Dismembered”
  9. G. Scott text--humanist values
10. Wolfflin text
11. Body, Memory, Architecture
12. sacred vs. the profane
      in the body
13. circle/square man in the Rotunda & Goldenberg houses
      also relates to some Vidler text
the imagination
1. notes on the imagination
2. Piranesi’s imagination
    assimilating vs metabolic
    Vico
3. nurturing imagination
    more female than male
4. Monsters of Architecture
    essentially metabolic process
5. “natural imagination”
    analysis of the Wilson essay
6. the underlined passages in Frascari
    essay on imagination and text (wavelengths)
7. imagination of the virtual
    exhibit one
8. “death of architecture”
    only half of the metabolic process
9. sacred vs profane imagination
architecture
  1.fertilized architecture
      Hindu temples
      Gothic cathedrals
  2. architecture in the extreme
      ancient Egypt
      contemporary plurality
  3. Renaissance architecture
      primarily assimilation
  4. Michelangelo
      proto metabolic
  5. Baroque & Enlightenment
      assimilation, metabolism and purge
  6. Purism
      purge, assimilation in the extreme
  7. inside/outside architecture
      osmosis
  8. Schinkel
      metabolization of history

  9. Le Corbusier
      purge to metabolic
      Savoye to Strasbourg
10. Stirling
      master metabolist
11. Louis I. Kahn (Kimbell, Hurva, Pantheon)
      architecture of light
      electro-magnetic radiation
12. Venturi (electronic iconography)
      architecture of light
13. inside/outside vs architecture of light
      houses under a common roof
      Tower of Shadows
14. Mitchel/Giurgola
      assimilating metabolist
15. fertile architecture
      Greek & Roman
      Islamic?
16. Frank Gehry - extreme architecture


1997.07.30
Piranesi's imagination
Piranesi/Campo Marzio... ...the combination of assimilation and metabolism. The notion of contiguous elements as ruins/generative elements is exactly the metabolic process. ...assimilation, i.e., the absorption of all the (historical) data pertaining to the Campo Marzio.


1997.08.01
Scott's "Humanist Values"
1914 4417


1997.08.25
Campo Marzio - book outline
“Piranesi’s Imagination and the Fertility of Roman Architecture.”


1997.12.24
BIA next
The distinction between the profane modes of the imagination and the sacred modes of the imagination.
The connection between Renaissance and assimilation, and theconnection between Baroque and metabolism.
Le Corbusier’s last text for “new man” references, into the realm of the sacred-osmotic (the lung analogy made with respect to the Carpenter Center). The “Aquous Humor” article.
...many examples of inside/outside architecture (osmotic)... ...Johnson’s Glass House, Mies’ Glass Tower, the Pantheon, the Altes Museum porch, Mikveh Israel Synagogue. The absolute rule of architecture.
Contend with the “metabolists” from Japan.


1998.02.25
Quondam question
a chronosomatic architectures museum?   4401

1998.11.15 21:03
[architecture opted otherwise]
I will soon offer a whole slew of new architectural concepts derived from my writing of The Timepiece of Humanity, starting with the word chronosomatics: the interrelationship of time and the human body. From there I will propose the largely unprecedented concepts of:
extremity architecture (the Pyramids, Stonehenge, anything pre 550 BC)
architecture of fertility [and pregnancy] (the Romans and the Subcontinentals more or less lead the world here)
assimilating architecture (from absorption to purge)
metabolic architecture (which centers on anabolism and catabolism, the creative and destructive operations of metabolism)
osmotic architecture (exchange and equilibrium - outside/inside)
electro-magnetic architecture (i.e., architecture of light)
and ultimately, architecture of all high frequencies (and even I don't know what that is exactly, but it's out there mostly in the far, far future)


1998.11.16 10:03
phase1.1?
...the space station fits precisely within the realm of extremity architecture. No question the space station is essentially as extreme as architecure can be today.


1998.12.05 11:30
assimilating architecture?
Since c.1500, humanity (however, mostly Western/European culture) has operated predominantly under the influence of an assimilating imagination--a process whereby everything about this planet, and even beyond, has been and still is run through the workings of absorption -- absorption of land, data, capital, whole societies, etc. (Science in general is a very assimilating process, and genocide is just one example of absorption in the extreme--purge.)
According to chronosomatics, a theory based on the interrelationship of time and the human body, there are roughly 200 years left where assimilation will play a major role with regard to the human imagination, and, more importantly, the next 200 years of assimilation will also be the largest and grossest "chunks" of assimilation yet, perhaps culminating with the total and complete knowledge of every bit of rhyme, reason, cause and effect of the human genome. Chronosomatics also shows us that metabolism (equal doses of creation and destruction) has been steadily becoming the new and eventually predominate operation of the human imagination. Therefore there is a strong pluralism within the operation of the human imagination today as well.
Are there thus some things within the last 500 years architectural history that relate to the notion of an assimilating architecture? Is there something about the present state of architectural affairs that points to an assimilating and/or metabolic architecture? For example, is the high eclecticism of the late 19th century one form of assimilating architecture? Is Le Corbusier's Purism akin to assimilating architecture in the extreme? Is the current widespread/global land development precisely a continuation of the assimilating process begun by the likes of Christopher Columbus? Will humanity, 200 years hence, have come extremely close to assimilating (for better or for worse) every square inch of this planet?
Personally, I think the answer is yes, but that's not the worst of it. After assimilation ceases to be a major element within the operation of the human imagination, humanity will spend 500 years working under the influence of an almost purely metabolic imagination. Imagine living on Earth when pretty much everything thought and done is create and destroy, create and destroy, create and destroy. . . . .

1998.12.17
Re: city making and city breaking
It has not escaped my attention that Operation Desert Fox has spurred some discussion here within the design-list that very much resembles the notion of humanity presently working metabolically, i.e., equal doses of creation and destruction. With regard to what I last said here concerning the possible notion of an assimilating architecture, my further elaboration of there presently also being an imaginative operation with a metabolic nature now seems very timely. I thus wish to interject one example of metabolic architecture/urbanism.
Berlin: foremost metabolic city of the 20th century
No doubt the city of Berlin, Germany has undergone unequaled metamorphosis throughout the course of the 20th century.
Berlin reached one of this planet's highest levels of urban density within the first quarter of this century.
In the 1930s, Berlin became capital of the National Socialist's Third Reich, an unprecedented create/destroy political machine, extreme even in its assimilation, the Holocaust purge.
1945, the Battle of Berlin leaves the city all but totally destroyed.
During the Cold War, Berlin increasingly becomes a very real duality, a duality much like metabolism itself.
1989, the Berlin Wall opens, falls, and within a few years the city is again united.
Y2K, Berlin begins the 21st century as a completely new German capital.
The pattern of creation and destruction completely pervades the last 100 years of Berlin's history, but then again it is also the capital of one of the 20th century's foremost metabolic nations.
Berlin and Germany are not alone in their metabolism, however. One only has to look at Japan and its two A-bomb cities, the two Koreas, the once two Vietnams, and there is always Israel and Old Jerusalem.
No one has yet suggested the likelihood of two Iraq's and/or two Baghdads, but it wouldn't surprise me in the least if that place somehow became very metabolic as well.


1998.12.17 15:45
Re: city making and city breaking
Marcus asks: Is every aspect of creation necessarily balanced by destruction?
There is a more "pure" aspects of creation other than the creative half of the metabolic process, namely, fertility.
It is important to note that the term metabolic is used whenever there a distinct creative/destructive pattern at hand.


1998.12.19
imaginations
The imagination of frequency surpasses all other modes of the imagination.
The electromagnetic imagination is the most illuminating and clear.
The osmotic imagination endeavors to find all things equal.
The metabolic imagination simultaneously creates while it destroys.
The assimilating imagination is extremely absorbent of data.
The fertile imagination is the most reproductive.


1998.12.20 13:15
Re: city making and city breaking
...the sequence of entry into Schinkel's Altes Museum in Berlin is a classic example of osmotic architecture.


imaginations
1998.12.29
The imagination of frequency surpasses all other modes of the imagination.
The electromagnetic imagination is the most illuminating and clear.
The osmotic imagination endeavors to find all things equal.
The metabolic imagination simultaneously creates while it destroys.
The assimilating imagination is extremely absorbent of data.
The fertile imagination is the most reproductive.

1999.02.06 12:12
electromagnetism in the body
The human heart is effectively an electromagnet, and thus the area of concentrated electromagnetism within the body.
We all know that the heart is a pump of blood, but rarely is it stated that what the heart pumps is precisely what makes the heart pump. For this reason alone the heart is the most perfect of all (electrical) machines.
Compare the definitions of the heart and the definition of electromagnet in Webster's Third International Dictionary and you will be struck by the fundamental sameness.
So where exactly is the electricity and the magnetism within the heart? Where else but in the blood, the pumps fuel.
Blood contains sodium chloride (salt) which is composed of sodium and chloride ions, electrically charges atoms.
Blood contains iron, a ferrous material whose properties include the ability to spontaneously magnetize.
No doubt, we each contain nature at its best.
Three practical examples:
Strenuous labor, especially work under heated conditions, can cause (so-called) sun stroke. The remedy for sun stroke is salt tablets, which work simply because they replenish the electricity that pours from the body when we sweat.
People with high blood pressure are advised to refrain from salt in their diets. Essentially it is dangerous to increase the corporal "charge" when the pressure is already high.
Women, through their menstrual periods, lose quantities of blood. Women are advised to take iron supplements as part of their diet. It is during their periods that women lose a measurable (but still necessary) portion of their magnetism.


1999.02.06 15:44
Re: notes from a reading of the Timepiece of Humanity
If the Timepiece of Humanity ever does anything revolutionary, it will be to end once and for all the separation between the body and the mind, because what the Timepiece of Humanity is telling me so far is that the imaginative operations of the mind reflect exactly the physiological operations of the body.


1999.06.23 07:44
Re: irrational architecture
It is becoming more and more clear to me that any discussion of the rational and the irrational (in design and capitalism) tends to lead toward confusions unless they acceptingly incorporate the over riding creative-destructive nature of the metabolic (imagination).


1999.02.24 13:02
Re: irrational architecture
Overriding balance and equilibrium comes after the metabolic (in chronosomatic terms, circa 3090 CE when the lungs with their dominant operation of osmosis are the predominant organ within the plane of the present). As to 20th century architectural design, I think a fair case can be made as to the notion of construction and destruction innately working together, e.g., Pruitt Igoe, modern urbanism's tabula rasa approach, the fall and then rise again of stylistic eclecticism, designed obsolescence, etc.
Human sacrifice is metabolism at its destructive extreme, where as human existence between the stages of sperm and egg, conception and ultimately birth is metabolism at its creative extreme. This may not seem to indicate a direct relation to design/architecture, but it certainly defines both of metabolism's limits. Of course, all the other creative-destructive processes are relatively less intense.
The wonder of the metabolic process is that the combination of construction and destruction is the prime ingredient of life itself. One half does not and cannot eliminate the other. In other words, metabolism is a form of duality at its best.

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